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The Shadow of the Windby Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Synopses & Reviews
The international literary bestseller — more than one million copies sold worldwide.
Barcelona, 1945 — just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn't find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons — The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera? — but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, "The originality of Ruiz Zafón's voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature." An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller's art.
"Readers may find, as they are hypnotically drawn in by the blurred layers of reality and easy identification with the characters, that they are exploring The Shadow of the Wind in the company of new friends." Rocky Mountain News
"Ruiz Zafón strives for a literary tone....Yet the colorful cast of characters, the gothic turns and the straining for effect only give the book the feel of para-literature or the Hollywood version of a great 19th-century novel." Publishers Weekly
"[Shadow] follows a traditional narrative; what is outstanding is the metaphysical concept of books that assume a life of their own as the author subtly plays with intertextual references....[A] meticulously crafted mosaic." Library Journal
"The Shadow of the Wind will keep you up nights — and it'll be time well spent. Absolutely marvelous." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"To call this book...old-fashioned is to mean it in the best way. It's big, chock-full of unusual characters, and strong in its sense of place....This is rich, lavish storytelling, very much in the tradition of Ross King's Ex Libris." Keir Graff, Booklist
"As magnetic as The Club Dumas, as unsettling as The Mystery of the Haunted Crypt and with a plot as complex and well rounded as The Name of The Rose — to be recommended one hundred percent." La Razon
"A thriller, a historical novel and a comedy of manners....
"The melodrama and complications of Shadow...can approach excess, though it's a pleasurable and exceedingly well-managed excess. We are taken on a wild ride...that executes its hairpin bends with breathtaking lurches." Richard Eder, The New York Times
About the Author
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, thirty-nine, grew up in Barcelona. The Shadow of the Wind has spent more than a year on the Spanish bestseller list, much of it at number one, and has sold in more than twenty countries.
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